Album Review: Sara Bareilles – What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress

Published On November 22, 2015 | By Jessica Thomas | Albums, Music

Taking her musical abilities to new heights, American songstress Sara Bareilles has outdone herself by lending her song writing and musical talents to a new project – musical theatre. Entitled What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress, it dually serves as songs from the upcoming Broadway musical Waitress and also her fifth studio album.

Sara Bareilles What's Inside Songs From WaitressOpening What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress is the quick little ditty What’s Inside and it serves as a recipe of a song with Bareilles ‘baking from the heart’ and repeating the ingredients (and lyrics) “sugar, butter, flour” before it fades seamlessly into the next song.

Opening Up is an upbeat, all in pop number with big drums that build up towards the chorus: it’s the perfect tune for a large musical scene. Lead single She Used To Be Mine might not use your typical song format but it certainly works in this setting: it’s more a grand story than a track. It does well to portray the feelings of the lead character, at a turning point but also stands alone as a solo song. Musically it starts slow and continues to build into a bigger rhythm, adding bold periodic drumbeats that really highlight her vocal range before fading out.

While this record does well to showcase Bareilles show stopping vocals it also enlists the help of crooner Jason Mraz to feature on the duets, and the choice pays off. The chemistry between these two truly shines on the heartfelt ballad You Matter To Me, with the slower pace and string section allowing their voices to truly compliment one another’s. While their playful sides are at work on Bad Idea, it’s a sassy tune with high energy and quirky spoken words to answer one another’s queries.

What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress has just the right amount of bold ballads, big dance numbers and duets to make this album soar. Bareilles has done a beautiful job crafting each of the songs with an audience and a performance in mind, even without seeing the musical each of the tracks do an exquisite job of telling a simple story with the rise and fall of character development. It’s an album that fans of musical theatre will adore and regular Bareilles fans will appreciate and love too.

4 / 5 stars     

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